Kenichiro, Kanako, Momoko, Jiyoung, Katsu, Yuma, Miu, and Koji! 

This thanksgiving was definitely something special.

here's why:

I've been tutoring Japanese clients for about 5 months now and from the first day I stepped into the office God's spirit has been very evident. During my first few weeks tutoring the Lord had spoken to me saying "invite them to Thanksgiving." The idea sounded fun, because my clients are genuinely awesome people, but a few doubts started to creep in my mind...Wait whaaaat Lord? Who? Really? Isn't that weird though - my clients at my house. What if they don't even want to come? My big family might be too much for them. How would I even ask them? lalala...

I knew God was asking for my obedience in this small act of invitation. I realized that as humans, our minds stay hooked on temporary things and we easily run to the nearest excuse of why something is too risky, or uncomfortable, too full of rejection, or too overwhelming - but God is simply asking us to obey His commands and He will do the rest. This was that moment for me.

And Praise the Lord because we had 5 adults and 3 kids join us for dinner and it was quite possibly my favorite thanksgiving ever!! They were all able to experience a somewhat traditional American Thanksgiving feast and be a part of the crazy-hospitable-group-of-people-I-call-my-family. wow.

I just wanted to share this little blessing from today and will be sharing more pics later. But all glory to the Lord for the way He orchestrates situations to occur that are more magnificent than we could ever dream up. Small acts of obedience and faithfulness truly echo into eternity!


all I can say about THIS ARTICLE is.. Amen.

"I'M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I'M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that's capable of looking past the outward and seeing what's truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It's the Gospel. So, finally, I'M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope."

-Benjamin Watson, tight end for the New Orleans Saints. 



thinking about this place & these people today.


an amazing story: Unbroken.

I finally got to sit down with this incredible book on the life of Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand called, Unbroken : A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.

My Dad had recommended this book to me a few years ago, but during that time I was in the midst of my college years and adding another book to the list seemed daunting, especially one this thick. But a few things kept pulling me back to this book...for one, Mr Zamperini is from Torrance. Born and raised on the streets I grew up around, attending Torrance High School and then USC. He's literally our hometown hero and I knew I needed to hear his story. On top of that, the most profound part of Louis whole ordeal is that he became a Christian and lived out his life speaking about forgiveness, redemption, and the grace of God. WOW.

So, when I saw the gripping trailer of Angelina Jolie's take on Louis story, which comes out on Christmas Day - I knew I had to read the book before I ever saw the movie. I read it in two days. I couldn't put it down. Once Hillenbrand began to paint a picture of who Louis was, the olympic runner turned POW enslaved to violent Japanese commanders for years and years...I was captivated by the power of this man's testimony and the true healing power of the love of Jesus Christ.

If you can...get a copy of this book and read it. It's unbelievable, profound, and has God's mercy and amazing redemptive power written all over it.

Here's an expert
"Resting in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken, man that the Bird* had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation."

*the Bird was the most cruel of all the Japanese commanders at the POW camps. The men nicknamed him Bird so they could talk about him in code without him hearing. They chose this name because it didnt have any negative connotation to it so they wouldnt be punished for saying it. The Bird picked Louie as his main target because he knew he was an Olympic runner. 

watch the trailer here


SD staycation

 I had a weekend in SD with the best crew. Russ had a work conference in SD so Jen and I took the boys down to meet him there. Lucky for me, four of my favorite people call this place home so meeting up with them for dinner&dessert was easy peasy and a dream come true.

I also had some quality bonding time with my dear nephew of mine, Hunty. He's been going through a crazy phase where he screams like a dinosaur every time I say hello to him and pouts (very dramatically) if I ever tell him stop doing something. Thanks to a fun hotel room and ample adventures around town, i'm proud to say that Hunty and I have redeemed our relationship and are now friends. HAHA.

 sd homies. Lucky to have all these chicks in one place. 
 the cutest brothers. 
 We visited the nature center in Chula Vista and Hunty loved the sharks, turtles, birds, etc and he also couldn't stop talking about the tram we took to get there (just a regular bus) haha.
SD is blessed with so many amazing places to eat. seriously. We got icecream at every
opportunity...this one being mint chocolate chip from daily scoop! yummmm.
 Cam bam is so cute. 
 we took this exact photo with the exact hotel picture in it last year!
 ate breakfast at Snooze. This place is crazy and the wait was 1hour on a Sunday morning (which is always weird to me bc i'm thinking these people should be in church! myself included) We ordered 3 things and shared and I would get the breakfast pot pie again in a heartbeat!

Until next time SD!



 This halloween was extra fun because of the 3 kiddos in the fam. Lenya was a cupcake, Hunty was a Dinosaur, and Camden was a Monkey (didnt get many shots of him because he was sleeping during the visit to g&g's)

"hows my hat look?"
Hunters "RAWR" face

After G&G's house we walked back to church for the Harvest Festival. It was so fun seeing all the kids in their adorable costumes and playing some games like "Flush sin away" and "pin the tail on Noah's ark" haha. To our surprise Hunter's favorite activity was the dark maze (usually he is terrified of this kind of stuff) but he kept wanting to go through the maze AGAIN and AGAIN! After about 5 times he finally let up and we were able to make an escape out of there haha. Then Stac, Ant, Lenya and I headed to CCSB to check out the massive harvest festivities they host in the parking lot. Im not a big fan of halloween, mostly because the costumes are scary and people get weird -lol - but having nieces and nephews really make it a fun day and it truly is a huge outreach event for all the local churches - praise God!